A Nightmare on Francis Street.

I am often accused of living in a dream world and to be honest, with my first week of travelling out the way, it’s a good job that I do! If you told me 6 months ago that a hostel could be as bad as where I am now I would have cancelled my plane tickets, forgotten my plans and put a deposit on a nice big comfy flat to cheer myself up a little. I knew it would be basic but at the very least I imagined a comfy bed, cleanliness and the odd smile from the staff. Instead I have a room that brings basic to a whole new meaning, showers that look like they haven’t seen a bottle of bleach since the place opened and receptionists that look as miserable as the dodgy paintwork. It’s safe to say that there has been a slight hitch in my plans. After the emotional goodbyes at the airport, the super long flight and now the poor excuse of accommodation it would have been so easy for me to say “right let’s go home” but reality of it is I really do have to give it a chance. I haven’t put in all this time and invested all this money for a quick hello and a hasty exit. After a good first night sleep (a whole 18 hours but after getting slightly tipsy before the airport and not going to bed until I arrived I don’t think it is bad going really) I opened my eyes to a whole new world. The skyscrapers looked magical and after an explore and walk on South Beach I’ve definatly come to the conclusion that I’ve made the right decision. So the hostel isn’t perfect…I only booked it for a week. I move on to my next one tomorrow. And as beautiful as Perth is, this is only my first stop. I swiftly invested some of my hard earned money into a camper van. At least that way I know what to expect when I go to bed at night. My first week so far has had lots of upsides but also a few down, but even when its been a real bad day I know it can’t be as bad as it can get because I havent seen a spider yet. Not even a tiny one.

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My journey with no destination.

I havent updated any of you on my plans for a while now – ive been busy working to save my money for the trip AND im in the middle of getting another blog up and running, so for my tardiness I apologise. With only four months to go ive realised the planning that is going into this adventure is half the fun, the destination  as of yet is an outcome I havent achieved. A journey in the typical sense is getting from A to B but ever since my very first blog post ive been on a very different type of journey. I’ve learnt a lot about myself as a person all through the organisation of one rather large adventure. I’ve had to learn a lot of things, ive met all kinds of deadlines, researched my heart out and even after a long day at work  when all I want to do is get into bed and stay there, ive had to be up and ticking of the next task on the ever increasing to do list. I’ve had to write plenty of those too – lists I mean. Shopping lists, List of important documents I need, Packing lists – colour coded in order of importance on who needs to take what. It’s safe to say if I wasnt organised before I definitely am now. I’ve never been more in control of my finances, I work to save splurging occasionally on a treat. Before all this started the only thing I really knew about money was how to spend it. I’ve always been a home bird, never to far from my family and friends but that’s changing to. I’m maximizing the fun that we all have now because in a few months that will be gone, but forever having Australia in my mind im constantly nagging them all to get Skype. I’m packing up my room, selling my stuff and finding things I didn’t really know I had. Its one big emotional rollercoaster, with me jumping on and off admist the planning confusion. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed finding out all these things about myself, even though I still am young and carefree, ive learnt I can be super organised , money conscious and juggle hundreds of tasks all at once. Now if that doesn’t boost a CV I don’t know what will. And to any employer who thinks “that’s not real work” I challenge them to do all of that and work full time on the side. It’s certainly been one massive journey all right. They said when I booked the tickets the journey time would be twenty three  hours – they were wrong so far its been six months and I still havent reached my destination.

What happens when the wanderer returns?

Six months away now. Six months to finalise all plans, sort through my life, pack up and throw the party of all leaving parties. I don’t do things by halves, im going away for a very long time and I want everyone to remember me – and how fun I am. They will be talking about the party so much for the coming two years, that when I get back, it will be like I never left. HA! No that’s not whats going to happen at all. I am going to throw a party but im on a budget, it will be modest but fun. Everyone will get emotional, we will have a few to many drinks and then its goodbye. Friends and family will remember me of course, but life goes on, as I start an adventure, they all carry on with how things were.I will get back one day and things will have changed. It wont be a case of slipping back into life like I never left – hopefully I wont even want to! It will be a case of starting new again. My friends will have grown up, moved out and probably started to settle down. They will all have a career, responsibilities and bills to pay. My family will welcome me back but there will have been so much that I have missed, I probably wont get the “private jokes” or any of the funny stories about last christmas. But does any of that really matter? No not at all, I could be anywhere in the world and things at home will change. Life changes over night, so does it really matter if I am in London or Sydney? No. When I return from my travels, I am going to have experienced a variety of new cultures, activities and life lessons. I’m going to have made memories which will last a lifetime. Those experiences will shape who I become and when I return I have no doubt that I will be a different person to who I am now. That person might not want to settle back into life as it was. I’m sure when I return everything will have changed and I will have to find another adventure to chase – wether it be building my first home and settling down or just another backpacking trip.

When Does A To-Do-List End?

When planning an adventure as big as mine you have to be organised right? You need a specific schedule, a budget, a timescale. Even when you’ve planned those aspects you need to think of little things like paperwork and insurance. Then theres vaccines and medication – you even have to know what you’re going to do about contraception. You need to know your whole life for the next two years. Ok im not talking about needing to know the exact time you eat your meals and scheduled loo stops along the way – but you get my point, a lot of planning and organisation is needed. Not my strongest points I must say. I love to just go with the flow, plan the odd evening out, the occasional shopping trip but more likely than not my “schedule” is spur of the moment, and for the past 19 years I have loved living that way.  So when it comes to the planning of this trip I do lack – my boyfriend who has a similar mindset, isn’t much help either. Between us we compiled a list of everything that needs to be done and felt proud in with ourselves for doing so. It would be easy for us to just smile at it and say “yes we can sort it out nearer the time” but reality is we can’t. Everyday a new point gets added, an important activity gets underlined but does it get done and ticked off? As of yet no. We have got ourselves a never ending to do list. Its fine i tell myself planning the route is pretty much a given – we will follow each city to the next and throw in some places the guidebook recommends for good measure. Paperwork can be done quick enough. It’s the budget I worry about.. As of yet ive never had to live on a strict budget – not to the point where I couldn’t borrow some from my parents or whack something on the card to tie me over til payday. This is going to need some planning. I need to work out how much for food, how much for rent – not how much will I have left if I buy that new top and those gorgeous shoes. Its occurred to me that now it’s not just the to do list that bothers me if I put my mind to it I really could just get on with it. Its more the idea of being a grown up, managing my finances and being super responsible that scares me. When I first started planning these travels I told you all it was because I wasnt ready to grow up just yet – I still wanted to have adventures. Now with seven months to go until departure ive realised something. I do get to have the adventures but I will have to be a grown up. A responsible organised grown up.